Proud, O’Connor Back for More on Final Day of 2017 British Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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The final day of the 2017 British Swimming Championships are now complete, and the finals are set up to be nothing short of amazing. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor is out for redemption in two events, while Ben Proud and Duncan Scott will be chasing more hardware and events for Budapest.

The British Championships are taking place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Center from April 18-April 23. The event will determine who will claim the World Championships roster spots for the upcoming games in Budapest.

Prelims sessions begin at 5:00 am, EST while finals will begin at 1:30 pm EST.

duncan-scott

Photo Courtesy: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Scott started off the day by nearly posting a personal best in the men’s 200 free prelims. His swim of 1:47.41 is the seventeenth fastest time in the world so far this year. While Scott is already swimming the 100 in Budapest, he will look to pick up this event as well, by posting a 1:46.58 consideration time or better. Right behind Scott in 1:47.42 was Nicholas Grainger, whose best is 1:47.10.

Also in the mix in the 200 free final will be four familiar names: Stephen Milne (1:47.56), Max Litchfield (1:47.84), James Guy (1:48.06) and Calum Jarvis (1:48.31). The 2015 World Championships win was a historic moment for Great Britain. The relay swam a 7:04.33 and included Guy, Jarvis, Dan Wallace and Robert Renwick. Guy split a huge 1:44.74 anchor split and will likely be able to swim another great leg, so it will be interesting to see who makes this relay team this time around.

Also competing in the A final are Mark Szaranek (1:48.95) and Cameron Kurle (1:48.96).

While the men’s 200 free will be quite the race to watch, the women’s 100 breast will be no different. After disqualifying the 200 IM, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor came back ready to go, missing the Worlds consideration time by just one one hundredth of a second in the prelims. Her swim of 1:06.91 is still the ninth best in the world this year and she will be swimming on a mission at finals. 50 breaststroke top competitors Imogen Clark and Sarah Vasey were back in action posting a 1:07.76 and 1:07.92, respectively.

Also in the field will be Jocelyn Ulyett (1:08.36) who won the 200 breaststroke at these Championships and Chloe Tutton (1:08.70), an Olympian in both breaststroke events. As their race history has shown, these women should be faster in the final, and will all be fighting for the World Championships spot. And adding a motivated O’Connor to the mix will only make the race that much better.

Georgina Evans (1:09.29), Corrie Scott (1:09.36) and Molly Renshaw (1:09.54) will also swim in the A final.

Luke Greenbank dropped a second in his 200 backstroke to take the top seed and the nineteenth ranked swim in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:57.99. He will need to swim a 1:57.00 for Budapest consideration. Callum Barrett (2:00.16), Xavier Mohammed (2:00.39) and Joseph Hulme (2:00.96) took the next three spots. Craig McNally (2:01.31), Jay Elliot (2:01.35), Daniel Cross (2:01.89) and Perry Gardner (2:02.37) will round out the A final.

O’Connor rounded out a group of four women under 1:00 in the 100 butterfly prelims, swimming a 59.81. Alys Thomas took the top seed in 58.49, followed by Rachael Kelly in 58.54 and Charlotte Atkinson in 58.55. It will take a 57.81 to to be considered for the World Championships, which would put any one of these women well into the world rankings. Atkinson had the best opening speed in 27.39, and should have the endurance from the 200 to finish the race in finals, so keep an eye on her.

Also competing in the A final will be Laura Stephens (1:00.13), 16-year-old Emily Large (1:00.30), Harriet West (1:00.31) and Harriet Jones (1:00.82).

The final event of the prelims was the men’s 50 butterfly, where Ben Proud used his underwater and sprint power to swim a 23.60 for the top seed. This puts him eleventh in the world rankings, but it appeared that he slowed his tempo down on the back end, so watch out for him in the final to make a move in this event. Adam Barrett was close behind in 23.81, followed by Adam Taylor in 24.32.

Calum Bain (24.36), Sean Campsie (24.42), Alasdair Wright (24.64), Brian O’Sullivan (24.69) and Alexander Bowen (24.73) will also compete in the A final.

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is the assistant swim coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Keene State, as well as KSC's head site coach for Greenwood Swimming. Pimer also helped coach 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Robert Griswold.

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